Inquiring Cats Want to Know

My cat’s fat butt published and then immediately deleted the original post, all in one fell plop. How is that even possible? I had to rewrite the entire thing. *sigh* This version is shorter and might actually be better.


His “I’m sorry” face.

When I ask my husband if he wants the good news or the bad news first, he 100% of the time picks the bad news. Something about the good making the bad seem not so bad. He can see the silver lining in just about everything… but without being obnoxiously chipper about it. This is one of the reasons I love him so much.

The bad news is that my knee hurts. It’s been hurting since my trip to Brazos Bend SP. It’s not severe and there wasn’t a traumatic injury. I didn’t fall or trip or anything. It hurts just under the knee cap when I straighten my leg and is painful to the touch on the medial side of my knee. Knee sprain? Minor MCL tear? After three weeks of this, I called to make an appointment yesterday with a doctor but couldn’t get in until after the Gathering in MA. What if I make it worse by hiking and doing trail maintenance? I’m mad at myself for not calling sooner but my doctor up and sold her practice and I still haven’t found a new one yet so I put it off. This has been heartbreaking. I’m supposed to take my first steps on the A.T. this weekend and I’m going to be in pain. Not cool. Well, the good news is that I was at the grocery store this morning and my knee popped and did some instant magic on its own. It popped so loud that the guy next to me reached out to brace my fall. Luckily I didn’t fall but I did sort of freak him out by crying. It was one of those insane laughing and crying at the same time sort of cries. When I heard the pop, I was so sure something bad had happened! I closed my eyes, held my breath, and waited for the badness. When I realized not only was I not in excruciating pain but I actually felt better, I was ecstatic. Those two opposite and extreme emotions back to back like that were apparently too much for my brain to handle and I let loose my mental patient cry. Sorry, grocery store guy! It’s still a bit sore, but nowhere near as bad as it was, and I can straighten it now which is good news for this weekend. I’m still going to the doctor when I get back but I’m less afraid of making it worse on this trip. Such a relief!

The bad news is that I need new trail runners. I only did six miles plus my alligator-induced aborted attempt the next morning at Brazos Bend. I’ve done more miles over more days in those shoes and everything was fine. I’ve been trying to figure out what went wrong. I ended up with bruises under both big toenails. There are too many variables to really figure it out though: insoles vs. no insoles, full pack vs. day pack, rain vs. no rain, liner socks vs. no liners…. I am wondering if the shoes had something to do with the knee problem too? At the risk of having my trophy wife status revoked, I hate shoe shopping. It is such a disappointment. I am picky and I have gigantic clown feet. I feel like a transvestite in heels. Okay, fine, they’re not that big but half sizes and wide sizes are hard enough to find when you aren’t also trying to make sure they’re animal friendly and have decent treads. Instead of buying an 8½ extra wide, I usually just buy a 9W, if I can find it, or a men’s 7. So pretty much my only option is shopping online and I dislike doing that because I can’t try them on. The good news is that I finally found some that are my size and I can’t wait to order them! Yay for happy feet.

The bad news is that my cat’s condition is slowly but steadily declining. It’s getting harder for him to breathe but we’ve upped his heart meds and are keeping an eye on him. I am pretty sure he will be around before I leave in March but I’m not sure that he will be here by the time I get back. I am worried about him all the time and every morning he isn’t still in bed with us, I frantically search the house assuming that he’s gone off somewhere else to die in the middle of the night. The good news is that his cardiologist has agreed to treat him via phone conversations and videos. It is starting to take longer and longer for him to recover from the stress of going to the office and I can’t justify bringing him there when it makes him worse instead of better.

The bad news is that I am anxious about the Gathering. It’s weird going by myself and not knowing anybody. I am flying by myself, renting a car by myself, and driving in a place I’ve never been. This is terrifying to me. Also, I am concerned that my resting bitch face will be misinterpreted. My whole life I’ve had to tell people that I’m not upset; this is just what my face looks like. When I’m interacting and smiling, I have been told I can be downright pleasant… but you can’t sit there and smile by yourself because it’s, well, creepy. Silence is not an insult! It just means respect the bubble, folks. After asking my husband a series of ridiculously unrealistic “what if…” questions (What if they point and throw rocks at me?!), he responded with, “If you can’t make it four days…” Now, I have the best husband in the ‘verse and I’m surprised that sentence even got that far. If I can’t make it four days, then what? How am I supposed to make it six months? He has never questioned my chances of success. Not ever. I can take the Debbie Downers of WhiteBlaze throwing generic statistics of failure in my face but coming from my husband, there was definitely some sting to it. The good news is that I know it was meant as a joke. He was trying to make me feel better by making me laugh and the fact that he didn’t even finish the sentence lets me know he wishes he could take it back. I am sane enough to realize that if he had said it months ago, I would have laughed. It only hurt my feelings because it’s right before the Gathering and so close to March. I’m anxious, my knee hurts, my cat’s dying, blah blah blah. It was a matter of circumstance and timing and not a judgement error on his part. Nobody slept on the couch. I am still excited despite my reservations. Part of my reason for wanting to thru-hike in the first place is because I’ve never been on my own. I’ve always lived with family, roommates, or significant others. I have no idea how to be on my own and choosing to go to the Gathering by myself is a fantastic baby step.




2 thoughts on “Inquiring Cats Want to Know

  1. I’ve followed your blog for a bit, and I’ve loved it so far :) Here’s some motivation from a stranger – I don’t really know you, and you don’t really know me, so take it for what it’s worth…knee popping aside, you seem totally ready. You’ve done a lot of gear research, you have a fantastic tent, and you’ve been so excited! The worries are legit feelings, but they’ll pass with time. Resting bitch face may not be common, but at least people know about it :) You’re going to be so excited setting foot on the AT and doing trail restoration, that you’ll forget about your worries and you’ll easily converse with your fellow trail mates. It will be beautiful up in MA in the fall! Go back to your AT FAQ page and watch the video you posted. You’ll come back from the Gathering and be totally amped for your upcoming journey. You’ll last four days AND six months. You’ve got this.

    As for your toenail bruises, I’ve had this twice, and it was when I had a pair of shoes that were slightly too big (as in, too much room in front of my toes). I don’t know whether it was the uphills or the downhills that did it, but my toes would slide forward and my toenails would hit against the front of my shoes and it would cause bruising in the nail bed. It also happened when I ran a half marathon. I think it’s just that prolonged, repeated slamming of the toe nail and the shoe. When you go shoe shopping, make sure you get the correct shoe size, make sure your laces are sturdy, and keep your nails super trimmed. Anyways, I don’t know if this helps at all, but I believe in you!


    • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. Seriously. I need all the help I can get. :) I think you’re right about the shoes being too big. I accidentally left the insoles I used before in a different pair of shoes so I did have some extra room without them. It didn’t seem like much but apparently it was enough.

      I love your idea about watching the green tunnel video again. I needed to be reminded what all this time, research, training, and money is leading up to. That’s exactly what I needed!

      Liked by 1 person

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